Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

Winston Churchill's Most Inspiring Quotes

On the birthday of the always fearless and often hilarious Brit, a look back at some of his most rousing words.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In 2002 a BBC poll crowned Sir Winston Churchill as the greatest Briton who ever lived -- edging out no less than Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare, Elizabeth I and, yes, Scary Spice.

Keystone | Getty Images

November 30, 2016 marks the original British Bulldog's 142nd birthday, which is as good a reason as any to look back at some of the most impactful words uttered by the cigar-chomping, whiskey-swilling, Nazi-smashing leader. As you'll see, the man was as funny as he was fearless.

On perseverance

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."

On pessimists and optimists

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

Related: Inspirational Quotes From 100 Famous Business Leaders

On being your own publicist

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."

On the holidays

"Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection."

On fitness

"Never stand up when you can sit down. And never sit down when you can lie down."

On courage

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."

On a rival politician

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

Related: 50 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You

On lefties vs. righties

"Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has not heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains."

On FDR accidentally barging into the naked PM's bedroom

"The Prime Minister has nothing to hide from the President of the United States."

On the Nazi invasion

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

On the most important meal of the day

"When I was younger I made it a rule never to take strong drink before lunch. It is now my rule never to do so before breakfast."

On animal rights

"Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye and see his equal."

Related: 17 Inspirational Quotes From Master Chef Julia Child

On socialism

"Socialism is like a dream. Sooner or later you wake up to reality."

On the French Resistance

"Remember gentlemen, it's not just France we are fighting for -- it's Champagne!"

On death

"I am ready to meet my maker, but whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks